Crock pots and slow cookers are coming back in style. Working people who want to eat healthier are finding that using a crock pot means that they get to come home to a delicious meal after the end of a long work day. Cooking in a crock pot is different from cooking on a stove. Here are some tips on how to cook using your crock pot or slow cooker.
Crock pot cooking can be healthy and these tips can help you to adjust recipes to keep your meal lower in fat and salt.
Using a crock pot with a non-stick lining makes it easier to reduce the fat in your recipes. A crock pot that can be removed from the heating element (or base) is helpful for browning meats. Just remember that a crock pot with a non-stick lining needs to be seasoned before use. Instructions on seasoning should be in the booklet that comes with your crock pot. Basically, seasoning means to wipe it down with oil such as olive oil.
You can put frozen meat into a crock pot but before the meat is frozen you should prepare it for later use. If the meat is fresh, trim the excess fat off it before cooking. If you are using ground beef, drain off fat after browning. Try using ground turkey in place of ground beef. Instead of adding fat, substitute chicken or vegetable broth.
If the recipe calls for using canned foods, use low-sodium varieties instead. Some recipes might call for creamed condensed soup. Many come in low-sodium. Making your own chicken, vegetable or beef stock and freezing in quart containers is a good way on always having healthier stock on hand for recipes.
Watch the spices that you use. Substitute garlic powder for garlic salt , onion powder for onion salt and celery powder for celery salt. Combination spice products often contain added salt or MSG. Read the label carefully.
The best way to reduce salt in your recipe is to replace the salt with spices or just increase the amount of spices.
White pepper (instead of black pepper) gives a more subtle flavor than black pepper and helps to take away from the salty flavor of some foods.
As with most recipes, using fresh or frozen ingredients instead of processed, canned items can save you fat, salt, calories and preservatives. This will make your crock pot or slow cooker meal healthier.
Crock pot or slow cookers can save time in the kitchen and using these tips for your recipes can help you to make healthier meals.